Tuesday September 6, 2022

Field and Stream

After a half-century of federal protection, a unique trout species is being considered for removal from the Endangered Species List. Native only to the high country of northern Arizona, the Apache trout is a hard-fighting, olive-colored salmonid with a bright yellow underbelly. It lives exclusively in the streams around the White Mountains of northeastern Arizona. While the small streams that these rare fish typically inhabit only allow them to grow to about 10 inches in length, they can reach sizes of 20 inches or more under the right conditions. 

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is recommending the removal of the Apache trout from the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The agency’s proposal comes at the end of a five-year review process involving the White Mountain Apache Tribe, Arizona Game and Fish (AZGF), the federal government, and the Arizona Chapter of Trout Unlimited (AZTU). 

“We would like to thank our partners for their engagement and collaborative efforts alongside the Service towards the recovery of the Apache trout,” said Amy Lueders, Regional Director for the USFWS, in a press release. “We are excited to say the recovery actions by the White Mountain Apache Tribe and other partners have led to the recommendation to delist the species from the ESA.”

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